Our Living Soil
Het Glazen Huis, the Orangerie and in the park | 10 July – 18 September 2022 | Part of the Shadow Floriade
With projects by masharu, Jasper Coppes & Esmee Geerken, Jacqueline Heerema, Kate Foster, Anton Kats, Miek Zwamborn & Rutger Emmelkamp, De Onkruidenier, and Debra Solomon,
During the Shadow Floriade, Zone2Source will participate in Our Living Soil’s international programme. The two-year art-science project is supported by the World Congress of Soil Science that will take place this year between 31 July and 5 August in Glasgow. The aim of the congress and Our Living Soil is “to inspire a deeper public understanding of the importance of soils.”
From 10 July to 18 September, Our Living Soil at Zone2Source will take the form of an exhibition of expeditions, talks and performances by artists who, in different ways, are concerned with soil and land. During this period, the artists will gradually develop new projects for the programme, some building on their residency last year at the World Soil Museum in Wageningen. Kate Foster, who lives in both the Netherlands and Scotland, will physically attend the Congress of World Soil Science and shape her artistic responses and observations into ongoing work for the exhibition.
The importance of soil
In our capitalist society, soil is seen as one of the many natural resources that can be used. But soil is much more than that; it is something alive and nourishing. Furthermore, healthy soil is essential for all life on earth, including our human life. We need a rediscovery with new stories to understand and experience our relationship to soil. While science takes a narrow, specialist view of soil research, art plays a vital role in representing and shaping new practices and portraying the many diverse cultural relationships people can have with soil. By asking different questions, artists can establish connections from a different perspective in which we evidently experience entanglement – the coexistence of people and soil.
Our Living Soil is a research project into cultural meanings, representations and values of the soil in a time of planetary change. People are intimately connected with the earth, but modern man generally has little understanding of the meaning of soil in our lives. Around the globe, soils are increasingly threatened by various procedures. Examples of these threats are intensive soil management and monocultures, and short-termism. All resulting in compaction, pollution, erosion and salinisation, loss of fertility, organic matter and biodiversity. The health of our soils is rarely brought up to the public compared to the health of our air, rivers and oceans, climate disruption and the conservation of endangered species.
However, soil health, climate change, food production, biodiversity and water supply are all inextricably linked. The latest State of Nature report suggests that poor agricultural management appears to significantly impact nature. Recently, it has been found that peatland is one of the most essential soils for CO2 storage in the fight against global warming. And so, the historical abuse of peatlands in the Netherlands and Scotland has been recognised in large-scale peatland restoration.
For the exhibition Our Living Soil, we have invited artists who are doing research on the soil in all kinds of ways. We investigate the role of artists in landscape research, how they do research and what forms of publicity they develop to make the meaning of ecosystems tangible and shed new light on them. Artists conducting fieldwork in landscapes, often in transdisciplinary teams, have developed as a genre of artistic practice. During Our Living Soil, we will reflect on the meaning of art as fieldwork together with the artists and the audience through debate, workshops and expeditions: how do we present work that deals with a landscape in the art space, what forms of publicity can we develop that maintain the connection with the location and the process of research? Our Living Soil consists of an exhibition with projects inside and outside the pavilion and an extensive public programme of debates, workshops and expeditions.
Participating artists & researchers
|De Onkruidenier||Miek Zwamborn & Rutger Emmelkamp|
|Debra Solomon||Jacqueline Heerema|
|masharu||Jasper Coppes & Esmee Geerken|
|Kate Foster||Anton Kats|
As part of Our Living Soil, we organise various public programmes for experts and broadly interested parties, from young to old. Workshops and expeditions are part of many of the projects. In addition, during the Open Studio of Jacqueline Heerema there will be several days of walk-ins, talks and experiments.
10 July, 16 – 17hrs
Opening Our Living Soil, including a recitation of two poems by Miek Zwamborn.
Park Fest Amstelpark 50 Years: masharu earth tasting, events in the Shadow Garden with de Onkruidenier and opening van Amstelpark – What do the trees of the Amstelpark tell us van Elmo Vermijs in Orangerie
Our Living Soil symposium with lectures and debates about art and fieldwork, interspersed with demonstrations by the Our Living Soil artists in the Amstelpark. One of the speakers is Alexander Toland (author of Field to Palette and curator We Are Compost/Composting The We at the CCA Glasgow).
NB: event dates are subject to change.